top of page
Butterfly Logo A .jpg

We Remember Even as We Try to Forget

WHEN I wrote my book, Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl? The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women, I realized that so many things in my formative years had happened within a 3-mile radius of each other. My childhood was a circle or circles that whether I realized it or not at the time, I was forever trying to free myself--physically, mentally or emotionally.

It wasn't until several years later that I learned about a study around adverse childhood experiences. The study conducted by Kaiser and The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually was a survey of Kaiser members, most of whom were white. It proved groundbreaking and the information that it yielded led to a body of work that provided a better understanding of how our childhood affects our lives through adulthood and may until death.

The ACE questionnaire below is a great place to begin to examine your life, especially if you want to change course or if you want to improve the path you're on.

START YOUR PERSONAL ASSESSMENT: Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire

This questionnaire asks you about events that happened during your childhood; specifically the first 18 years of your life. The answers will help you begin to understand problems that may have occurred early in your life and allow you to start exploring how those problems may be impacting the challenges you are experiencing today while consider what should be done about the residual effects, if any.

While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:

1.Did a parent or other adult in the household often: Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? Or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

__Yes __No If Yes, enter 1 _____

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often: Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? Or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?

___Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever: Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? Or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?

___Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

4. Did you often feel that: No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? Or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?

___Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

5. Did you often feel that: You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? Or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?

___ Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?

___Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

7. Were any of your parents or other adult caregivers: Often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at them? Or Sometimes or often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? Or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

___ Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?

___Yes ___ No If Yes, enter 1 _____

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?

___Yes __No If Yes, enter 1 _____

10.Did a household member go to prison?

___Yes ___No If Yes, enter 1 _____

ACE SCORE (Total “Yes” Answers): ______


bottom of page